1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie SGC 7 NM
"Every now and then, some athlete is touched for a moment with a kind of higher level of greatness which they may never achieve again, but at that moment they were more than life allows…" - Heywood Hale Broun
Such were the iconic words of the late renowned CBS sportscaster Heywood Hale Broun when referring to a supernatural-like player that has performed above and beyond the physical limits of the standard athlete. Unquestionably, with regard to Goliath power, baseball history could not provide a more classic example of Broun's quote than Mickey Charles Mantle, who consistently tested the furthest confines of any professional ballpark. Time after time, "The Mick's" mammoth tape-measure blasts would not only outdistance any stadium's fences, but also their outer perimeters, with this immortal Cooperstown inductee twice blasting home runs off the façade of Yankee Stadium! It was in 1953 batting right-handed, that Mantle crushed a Chuck Stobbs fastball at Washington's Griffith Stadium off the scoreboard and into a neighboring backyard, some 565-feet from home plate. This remains the longest "official" home run ever recorded in a Major League game, and even with today's sophisticated conditioning programs, harder throwers, tightly wound baseballs and extensive outbreak of PED users, no one can come even close to matching Mantle's record-setting blast. It was this "Godly-like" power that certainly resides as one of the foremost reasons the 1952 Topps Mantle subject achieved its current mystique.
Enthusiasts surely agree that the sheer combination of his unparalleled long balls and the 1952 Topps #311 "high-number" stature places this momentous Mantle issue right alongside the T206 Wagner "Holy Grail" as the two most recognizable baseball cards on the planet! This cardboard marvel's sudden rise to stardom in the late '80s and early '90s ably assisted the overall market stature, with its incredible pricing points redefining one's perspective for utilizing cardboard heirlooms as viable investment options. Typical with any market commodity, the pricing levels of valuable baseball cards likewise run in cycles, and the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 subject is currently "smoldering" with regard to its on-going increasing pricing points. The recent private sale of a PSA Mint 9 example for a record setting $5.2 million for ANY sports card translates to a staggering 79% or $2.3 million increase in only two years over its previous $2.9 million public auction sale. Indeed, that momentous $5.2 million transaction has immediately ignited a seemingly irreversible meteoric pricing uptick for the 1952 Topps Mantle in any grade. This notion is firmly substantiated by the recent mind-boggling $2.1 million record sale for a PSA NM-MT 8 (in the iconic Dr. Newman auction) and $146K for a PSA EX 5, with the "PSA 8" $2.1 million figure outdistancing the previous $1.6 million high by 31%. No wonder the '52 Topps Mantle has been dubbed the post-WWII "Holy Grail" and synonymous with an uncontrollable brush fire, these miraculous soaring prices show no end in sight as both collectors and investors frantically scramble to capture additional high-grade examples before the pricing points ultimately reach unattainable levels.
Presented here just happens to be one of those highly coveted 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle gems; an outstanding SGC Near-Mint 7 example that exhibits superb aesthetics. Its overall visual pleasing eye appeal is synonymous with Mantle's magnificent legacy, starting with the classic bat over shoulder pose portraying a richly hued aquamarine blue background that atypically does not reveal a trace of "snow" or white spottiness within the confines of the classic black frame. You can literally feel Mickey's curious nature as he gazes into the future with a youthful innocence that would eventually lead to his immortal Yankee standing, not even remotely realizing the legendary career he was about to embark upon. The stoic portrait image reveals crystal-clear clarity and robust facial hues, with the gleaming obverse side surface sporting super clean borders and strong right-angled corners consistent with the grade. True, similar to most 1952 Topps Mantle subjects, the central image is somewhat skewed, in this case favoring the right edge at an approximate 60/40 -65/35 level. Yet, most significantly, the iconic image's breathtaking aesthetics "steal the show", more than offsetting its off-positioning between the bright white borders. No glaring surface flaws are evident, and a clean verso resides as the final exclamation point for a virtual "pack-fresh" offering. Historically speaking, had it not been for "truckloads" of 1952 Topps high-number vending cases being dumped into the Atlantic's murky waters off of the coasts of New Jersey, the incredible mystique of the '52 Topps Mantle might have never been born.
Yet, the reality of this card standing tall as our hobby's pinnacle post-WWII cardboard memento literally shines forth as a beacon of light, with its uncontested popularity the main driver of its redefined value. The aforementioned record-breaking sales surely speak for themselves, and most enthusiasts highly expect this unprecedented pricing surge to continue marching forward with any PSA Near-Mint 1952 Topps Mantle firmly residing as one of the hobby's soundest investment opportunities. In fact, over the past year, "Near Mint 7" examples have been achieving pricing points between $200K - $550K, with that record $550K sale realized in the Spring of 2021. For 18 years, Mantle stole the hearts of millions of avid fans, and it is with little surprise that this "clutch" performer continues to hold the all-time record for the most World Series home runs with an astounding 18 round-trippers. Indeed, performing at a superior level on our National Pastime's grandest stage was a simple task for this Oklahoma raised "coal miner" who could hit a baseball further than anyone who ever stepped into a batter's box. No wonder all of "The Mick's" high-end cardboard issues continue to light up the hobby, with his hallowed 1952 Topps #311 subject paving the way. As is the case with any investment opportunity, no scenario is "etched in stone", yet fortunately for its fortuitous owners, the 1952 Topps Mantle's unparalleled popularity and most recent extraordinary pricing points certainly support the prospect for its continuous unlimited growth potential. That said, while the T206 Wagner irrefutably stands as the hobby's "Holy Grail" subject, the '52 Topps Mantle is now riding a close second as the "Queen Mary", justifying why your ship has just sailed in via this esteemed SGC 7 museum worthy masterpiece!
MIN BID $50,000